Thursday, August 3, 2006
Veterans’ transportation ready
By SUE WATSON
A year ago retired Air Force Master Sergeant James Brown began asking how transportation service could be arranged for area veterans.
Brown was in good health but concerned he would eventually need someone to drive him and his friends to the VA Hospital.
He hasn’t used the new transportation yet, at age 80 in November and 100 percent disabled.
Brown is a member of the Collins Hurdle VFW Post 5697 and the American Legion Post 250.
“That was what I was worried about because I’m not going to be able to drive there,” he said. “I went to the board of supervisors after checking with the Veterans’ Service officer, who could do nothing for us.”
Brown said his first thoughts were for himself, then he began thinking about others, the late Chester Pegues and the late Jake Jeffries, a bunk buddy who served in the Korean Conflict with his brother. He said he was highly concerned about how Jeffries and Pegues were going to get to the VA for their checkups and realized he needed to get something done.
He personally knows eight or 10 veterans who need the service including a good friend who called him to thank him after getting his transportation worked out.
Brown served in World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.
“I’m proud I did my share,” he said.
Veterans living in Marshall and Benton counties can ride the van or minivan to the VA as well as their spouses, but no children. The trip is free to both the veteran and the spouse.
VFW Post 5697 Commander Bill Janssen said the VFW is arranging for veterans who want to catch the van to meet at the Post.
“Veterans may leave their vehicles at the VFW where it is a secure area,” he said. “They can all arrange to meet the bus there.”
He added that the transportation to and from the VA Hospital in Memphis has been needed a long time.
“This has been long overdue and is a welcomed addition to the help veterans need in North Mississippi and Marshall and Benton counties,” Janssen said. “Our older veterans are getting older and are unable to handle the traffic when they go to the VA in Memphis.”
To arrange transportation to the VA Hospital, call Northeast Mississippi Community Services at 252-2713 or 252-2714 and ask to speak to Angela Jones. Leave your name and number and a message, if you call when Jones is out of the office and your call will be returned.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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